Travelling around Europe is about to get even better. Come 15th June, mobile phone roaming charges in the EU will be no more – great news if you’re jetting off for a city break or a spot of sunshine this summer!
For senior travellers, no roaming charges mean that if you need to contact your family, friends or neighbours in an emergency or simply to say hello, it will be easier – and cheaper – to do so than ever before. The EU’s website has published some small print surrounding the new policy, part of the Digital Single Market strategy, but here’s our quick guide to bring you up to date…
To start with, the countries where you can ‘roam like home’ include all 28 EU member states and those in the European Economic Area, including France, Spain, Italy and Greece. How much you currently pay for a call from abroad is dependent on your provider; but given that EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and others have already opted in, any call you make in the EU will cost the same as if you were making it in the UK. The new rules cover calls, SMS and data.
Generally speaking, whatever contract or pre-paid deal you have in the UK, you will have the same allowance abroad. However, it is worth noting that if you have a contract at home with a large data bundle, you may not get the same allowance while travelling in the EU. In these cases, operators will sometimes put a fair use limit on data. Once you pass this threshold, which is pretty large, you can still roam the web for a small fee (currently €7.70/GB + VAT, but this is expected to gradually fall to €2.50/GB by 2022).
The same rules apply if you’re on a cruise, as long as you’re connected to the terrestrial mobile networks. And don’t worry – if you already have roaming activated on your mobile plan, it will make the switch automatically. Your provider should contact you around the 15th June to let you know that they’re included in the scheme, as well as what your specific charges may be.
One word of warning – it does not cover calls made from the UK to friends abroad; it only applies if you’re calling back to the UK.
If you’d like to know more about the roaming charge changes, or to find out whether your phone company is included, contact your provider directly or read more here.
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